The 2024 Mercedes-AMG C63 doesn’t have a V8 anymore, but its turbocharged, hybridized inline-four should still put a smile on your face.
The AMG V8 is dead as the age of electrification begins
The figurative heart and soul of the Mercedes-AMG C63 is its turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four, codenamed M139. Even without the help of the hybrid drive system, the internal-combustion engine makes 476 hp (350 kW), making it the most powerful production four-banger on the planet. As on the less powerful C43 model, the engine features an electrically driven turbocharger that reduces lag to almost imperceptible levels. Derived from Formula 1 technology, the turbocharger features a tiny electric motor between the exhaust turbine and the compressor wheel, which spins the turbo up to create boost as soon as the driver calls for it.
But while 476 horses might have been sufficient a few years ago, today’s super-sedan shopper demands more. That’s where the rear-mounted electric motor comes in. Working with a 6.1-kilowatt-hour battery and 400-volt electrical architecture, the motor pushes 204 hp (150 kW) to the road – either by itself or in tandem with the gas engine. In the former case, the C63 will be capable of about 8 miles of all-electric driving, but as AMG Chief Technical Officer Jochen Hermann said, the electrification strategy isn’t really focused on efficiency.
With all cylinders firing and a peak 150 kW of electrons flowing out of the battery, the C63 produces that aforementioned 671 hp and 752 lb-ft, helping it hit 60 miles per hour in a manufacturer-claimed 3.3 seconds. That’s about half a second quicker than the outgoing C63, with a top speed that nearly matches its predecessor at 174 mph with an optional AMG Driver’s package – the old C63 S could hit 180 mph, but who's counting?
Part and parcel of the acceleration experience is a now-familiar nine-speed multi-clutch transmission. Distinct from a dual-clutch gearbox, the AMG Speedshift MCT uses a complex, wet clutch pack instead of a torque converter, helping the C63 respond more readily to the throttle than a conventional automatic, but with better low-speed refinement than a dual-clutch gearbox. What’s more, the electric motor features its own two-speed gearbox, ensuring plenty of e-boost even when traveling at high speeds.
And for the first time in history, the hottest C-Class will offer all-wheel drive. The so-called 4Matic+ system features an electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential, although the electric motor acts directly on the rear axle for near-instant response. What’s more, a clutch system allows the electric motor to spin the driveshaft as well, which in turn rotates the front wheels. That means that even when operating in pure EV mode, the C63 always has four-wheel traction.
The Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance will go on sale in global markets early next year, likely as a 2023 model. However, Americans will have to wait until the 2024 model year to get their hands on the four-cylinder AMG super sedan, with deliveries probably starting here in September or October.
There's also a wagon version, but that is not coming to America